#45 Modle Airplane Building Clinic >> Stevens Aero FullHouse << - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 09, 2012, 08:41 PM
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fleaz's Avatar
Originally Posted by dmcMaine
The instructions say to carve the larger portions of the block to a rough shape first. The last time I tried whittling, I ended up in the emergency room getting 6 stitches. I still have the scar to prove it.
You can just tackle the block with sand paper if you don't trust your whittlin' skills. Carving the block down first just saves you a bit of sanding time.

I've got a couple of good whittling scars on my hands as well. I split my left thumb open trying to carve a notch in a home made arrow when I was 10 yr old. That's when I finally understood "cut away from yourself".

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Oct 12, 2012, 09:22 AM
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No pictures today. I want to completely finish the fuselage before the next batch of pictures.

For those following along at home with the build instructions, I am at step #67. So all that is left for the fuselage is to bend and attach the nose sheeting, and install the pushrod tubes. Then sand everything all nice and pretty. I hope that step goes well. That's the good news.

The bad news. Mr. newbie here has had a few oopsies while building. I don't think anything major though. Where I left off with the sanding of the wing mounting block... I blended the shape with the curve of the fuselage just fine with no new stitches. There were a few gaps at the top though when done between the block and the spine. I'm sure that it was my doing and not the parts themselves. If I sand more I think it will altar the shape of the spine more than it should be. The current plan is to use a little balsa wood filler to build up the gap and then smooth those areas out. Reasonable? I also managed to bond the fuselage stringers to the aft keel early. It's funny how you can read "DO NOT BOND" and then your hand just runs off on its own and does it anyway. I think it is ok. The two pieces that go in there for the pushrod exits had to be trimmed to fit. But everything seems to be square and straight. Hopefully no harm, no foul. The ultimate fallout is a little sanding to smooth the bottom out.

Overall I am having a grand time building. It has been a joy watching the fuselage take shape as I've gone along. The sanding-to-shape isn't as scary in practice as I had feared it would be. All of the parts are going together nice and tight. It seems to want to build square and straight with no pesky fiddling to make things work. If things continue like this you'll have one happy noob here. At least until the maiden.

I'm almost to the step of bending the tailwheel rod to shape. I'm not sure I understand the steps yet. But I imagine they will make more sense as I work through them. Any advice on making nice, clean, accurate bends? Special tool? Special technique? Anything?
Oct 12, 2012, 09:46 AM
There are some who call me....
campbelltf's Avatar
Subscribed! It's great to see someone else building the FH500. This was my first build too last winter and reading your posts, it's like a replay of my experience. Have you glued your finger to the balsa yet and then left skin behind because you figured, "How strong could this glue really be?" Debonder is worth its weight gold.

I also was nervous when it came time to sand something down, but it sounds like you realized, like I did, that it's not that hard to get it right. Same thing goes for covering. It's really not that hard, you just go slow.

Bending the tail wheel wire is pretty straightforward and the wire is thin enough that I was able to do it with needle nose pliers and my bare hands. I messed up the first try, but there's plenty of wire for a second go, so no worries.

Again, really glad you chose this plane, it's great (and I have heard a rumor that the float kit will be available later this month). If you want pictures of anything on mine to clarify how it looks, let me know, I'd be happy to snap and post.
Oct 12, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Murocflyer's Avatar

Thanks for volunteering to help. That's great to see.

As for bending small diameter, I like to use a pair of needle nose pliers.

Oct 13, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Welp. Fuselage is done (pics below). I'm not entirely happy with it. I need to sand a bit more, and my sloppiness with the CA really shows. But for now I've set it aside. I'll come back to it before covering. I don't know if I'll go with my original covering plan now. Do I really want to use a transparent color to show everyone how bad I am at doing this??

Feeling all full of myself I pressed on ahead today with the tail surfaces. Bending the wire for the tail-wheel proved to be no big deal. But as I was cleaning up and looking over everything double-checking against the instructions, I saw that I made a pretty big mistake. I bevelled the wrong side of the rudder!!! That means that the hinge tape will be on the same side as the control horn if it stays this way. Level with me. Do I need to rebuild a new rudder from scratch? Or is this still going to work. I'm not sure what happened. The instructions are very clear. A lapse of concentration and I placed the right side of the rudder UP instead of DOWN. Grrrr. And advice on this one will be greatly appreciated.
Oct 13, 2012, 03:28 PM
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fleaz's Avatar
The reason the rudder was beveled on the right side was to leave as much "meat" as possible around the tail wheel wire. The only danger here is that the tail wheel may tear out during a hard landing. It's your call, though... Leave it as it is and if it tears out, build a new rudder. Or, call Bill and order a new cut sheet for the rudder - should be around $5-$10, and be done with it.
Oct 13, 2012, 03:30 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
Good advice and I always tape the side of the rudder where my hinge tape is at. Press on!

Oct 13, 2012, 03:32 PM
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fleaz's Avatar
I agree... Leave it and move on!
Oct 13, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Sounds good. I'll see about reinforcing the tailwheel then. Onward to the wing.

Well... once my inlaws leave.
Oct 15, 2012, 08:18 AM
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As it turns out, I think I'm a wee bit sensitive to the CA vapors: very stuffy nose overnight almost like the flu. But clears up until my next build session. I've heard the foam-safe ca glues might help with that. I'm going to try switching and see if that helps.

In other news the wing is underway. all ribs are installed - Next is step #121 for those following along in the manual. The fit is very nice. The wing just wants to build itself straight.

A bit of warning though. Don't get cocky! Those wing ribs can snap easily. Don't ask how I know this. OK..I'll fess up. The center ribs (W-3) were very tight trying to fit over the main spar/doubler. I managed to split the rib when I grabbed it below the rib opening. Oops. It is all better now.
Oct 15, 2012, 08:27 AM
There are some who call me....
campbelltf's Avatar
It's hard to believe all those individually fragile pieces can come together and make a plane strong enough to withstand landings... well... my landings. Trees on the other hand, not so much.

On the CA vapors, I put a small fan in the room, set it on low, just close enough to move the air around the plane. Just that little bit of circulation really helped with keeping those fumes out of my face.
Oct 15, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
CA can be nasty stuff. They make a product called Oderless CA that I heard helps folks that cannot use regualr CA. It's pricier, but worth it if it regular CA bothers you.


PS Did some digging for you. Scroll down to post #122 and on in this thread: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ight=ca&page=5
Last edited by Murocflyer; Oct 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM.
Oct 15, 2012, 11:20 PM
God is my pilot
JimTMich's Avatar
CA fumes. I've been told a ceiling fan, or small desk fan can take care of the fume issue.

I tried learning to fly back in the 80's with a duraplane 25.....
Oct 16, 2012, 02:33 PM
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It's definitely the CA fumes getting to me. I do have a decent bit of aliphatic and some foam-safe odorless CA now. If I have to use the other stuff I'll hook up a fan to blow across the work table. There are so few glue steps left that if worse comes to worse I can soldier through it.

Tonight is continued work on the wing....with some debonder. This morning before work I did a quick once over and dry-fit the next parts and noticed that I messed up the outermost right rib. I seated it flush with the top of the wing, when it should have been flush with an indentation to accept a top spar doubler. The left side was correct. The right side not so much. I'm sure I can recover without any trouble.

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